Thursday, March 06, 2008

Garrett Heath Talks Track

Winona native and Stanford junior Garrett Heath continues to impress during the indoor season. After his performances at the MPSF Indoor Championships, he answered a few questions from DtB.

DtB: You got the qualifying time in the distance medley relay. Were you also trying for one in the 3K or was that just for points?

GH: Qualifying for the DMR was really our main goal for this last weekend, so having everyone come together and run well on the same day to make it happen for us was great. There was a lot of good competition in that race as well, in terms of UCLA and Arizona State, and that really helped us run the way we did. On the other hand, the 3K was my third event of the weekend, so at that point I was just running to get points for the team. Originally this season, I had hoped to take a shot at the 3K fresh, but the season is just too short and it never really materialized. At the time of the 3K, the team race was pretty tight, so we were just trying to get as many possible points in there as we could.

DtB: What was your split on the DMR anchor?

GH: 3:56 point something.

DtB: How did the races play out? You had a one, two Stanford finish in the mile. The DMR was close, as was the team race between the top three.

GH: Having the one, two finish in the mile was great. We also had a couple of other guys on our team score in that race as well with huge PRs, so it was pretty successful all around. I ended up getting out hard and setting the pace for the first 900 meters or so before a couple of my teammates took over through about 1300 meters. The pace was slow, and we came through 1200 meters in about 3:10. From there it was an extremely tight race with everyone kicking a couple wide down the backstretch and to the line.

In the DMR, it was a tight race for us the whole way with a couple other Pac-10 schools. Both our 1200 meter and 400 meter guys ran extremely well to hand it off to our 800 meter leg in the lead. He ran a PR 1:50 split that really made the difference in us running as fast as we did. When I got the baton, we were even with Arizona State for second place with UCLA leading. From there I just tried to settle in and maintain at least a 4:00 pace, as I could hear my teammates shouting that we needed 4:00 to qualify for nationals. The pace that I ended up running wasn't exactly even by any means, but coming around the last lap I heard 3:00 and knew that I could close in under 60 seconds. Overall, making it to nationals with this team of guys is amazing and something that we have all been looking forward to all season.

DtB: Any surprises or did things go about as expected?

GH: Going into the last weekend, we had a lot of expectations and things that we wanted to get accomplished between qualifying the DMR for nationals and win the meet as a team. I would say that we were happily surprised by a lot of the results and the way that everyone stepped up at the big meet. We didn't end up winning the team title, but just keeping ourselves in the hunt until the last event or two was pretty exciting for everyone.

Photo Courtesy of Garrett Heath

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